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Full text of "War / by Lawrence H. Haskin, Jr."

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Submitted in partial fulfillment of pled;re duties prior to 
initiation into the Maryland Beta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi at 
the University of Maryland, November 29, 1940. 



War Is said to be that state in which a nation prose- 

cutes its right by force. The general impression is that war 

springs from the natural belligerency of human nature or from the 
animosity of peoples or from the ambitions of leaders who acci- 
dently happen in history. (2) This impression is not wholly 
justified; because as the history of civilization is studied, it 
is found that as civilization progressed, so did warfare. Civil- 
ization and wars seem to work hand in hand. There is no reason 
to believe that wars in the future will not progress along with 
the future civilizations instead o* bein discontinued in favor 
of the "world peace" or "good neighbor" ideas that so many 
people dream about. 

Since the beginning of recorded history, there have 
been wars. All of them, no matter what the apparent motive, 
have underlying, essentially the same motives; plunder and 

The life of the primitive man was one of continual 
warfare. Plunder was undoubtedly the great motive. If a neigh- 
boring tribe had something one tribe desired, there probably 
appeared only one way in which to gain it. That way was to 
drive away the person or persons who possessed the thing desired 
or by some other means force them to give it up. 

(1) Websters Unabridged Dictionary. 

(2) Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Vol. XV. 
The Macmillan Co., New York, 1935. 


From the time when people started to accumulate wealth 
in any form, auch as flocks, herds, or stores of goods, robber 
bands were formed to take advantage of the accumulation and rob 
the owners. This act was one of the earliest forms of war. Proof 
of this fact is established in observing that the early centers 
culture were situated in sheltered 2nd easily defended spots. This 
type of war, the strictly plunder type, was in effect up to com- 
paratively recent times. It reached its hi hest point of develope- 
ment in the invasion of Europe by the Huns, and the campaigns of 
Genghis Khan in Eastern and Southern Asia. 

The so called religious wars in Europe were not really 
religious wars at all. For example, the Thirty-Years War was, at 
its outset, apparently a religious war, but commercial motives 
were so dominating that, for the greater part of the war, Catholfc 
France supported the Protestant party and the Protestant Swedes 
fought against Protestant Denmark. 

Wars fought for developement of industry and trade have 
in their motives elements of both plunder and tribute. Weak nations 
are merely forced to serve the strong nation. If the weak nation 
becomes strong enough over a period of time to carry on war against 
the strong nation they are serving, we have a war which is most 
justified; war for independence. 

The most recent excuse for war is that it becomes neces- 
sary for expansion on the part of increasing population. This 
condition as a motive for war is not justified. Early in history 
there was no great overpopulation, yet wars were very frequent. 
At the beginning of the World War, the population of Western 
Europe was declining rapidly* At present, the most thickly 


populated sections in the world, India and China, do not find 
it necesscry to carry on w?<r for purposes of expansion. 

The last frequently used excuse for war, an excuse 
to cover up the real motives of plunder and tribute, is hatred 
between races, classes, or cultures. Hatred between nations never 
has been and probably never will be a dominating motive for war. 

As long as man inhabits the earth and retains his senses, 

there will be wars. This conclusion is based on the fact that the 

great majority of human beings in the world want things that other 

human beings have. The last resort in fulfilling these desires is 

war. General Carl von Clausewitz said in one of his volumes that 

war is only a continuance of policy by other means. This 

statement merely says that if you can't get what you want by peace- 
ful methods, £0 to war and take it. General Clausewitz' s three 
volumes, "On War," are known s the Bible of the German officer 
and the German statesman. 

(3) Pilcher, T.u. ( War According To Clausewitz p 2?. 



Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. 

Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences 
New York: The Macmillan Company. 

Filcher, T.D. 


New York: Cassell and Company, Ltd.